BlogApril 2017

7 Best Spots for Fishing in San Francisco

7 Best Spots for Fishing in San Francisco

By Tom Keer

Apr 05, 2017

Urban areas aren't well known for great fishing, and that's why anglers find San Francisco to be such a special city.

Urban areas are not necessarily known for their outdoor activities which is what makes the concept of fishing in San Francisco so unique. Coastal cities and towns have lots of shoreline, much of which is developed. Nonetheless, here are seven places to help you know where to go fishing in the Bay Area.

  1. Fisherman's Wharf: Pier fishing in San Francisco is common, with Fisherman's Wharf being the best known spot. Here you'll find restaurants and anglers, and most folks catch sturgeon, founder, perch, and sharks. Charter boats abound if you're looking to book a San Francisco fishing trip.
  2. Pier 7: At 840 feet, Pier 7 is only the second longest spot in the area. Flounder, spotted sea perch and pile perch are the commonly caught species.
  3. Candlestick Park offers two piers and fishing hours run from 7 AM until 8 PM. Perch, sturgeon, and flounder are the targeted species.
  4. San Pablo Reservoir: If you need a break from the piers head to San Pablo Reservoir for trout and catfish. Of all the places for fishing in San Francisco, this reservoir is especially well known for big rainbows.
  5. Bon Tempe Lake: Though small, Bon Tempe Lake is a good trout fishery. You'll find bass in the waters, too.
  6. Pacifica Pier: If you study bay area fishing reports long enough you'll learn that the Pacifica Pier is one of the tops in the entire states. It's mostly because of the diversity, and salmon, flounder, perch and halibut are routinely caught.
  7. San Francisco Bay: A San Francisco fishing trip wouldn't be complete without hanging a striped bass near the Golden Gate Bridge or off Alcatraz and Treasure Islands.

If you live in the Bay Area then you already know about the great opportunities for urban anglers to go fishing in San Francisco. But if you're heading to the Bay Area for work or a family trip be sure to get a license and pack your rods.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at